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Stolen boat run aground

SEPT. 8 — Alabama Marine Police and Coast Guard authorities were led on a 20-mile chase Aug. 30 along the Intracoastal Waterway before they apprehended a man they say stole a $400,000 sportfisherman, ran it aground and attempted to escape on foot.

The 36-year-old man was charged with first degree theft of property for taking the 35-foot Cabo from its berth on OnoIsland, news reports say. Authorities also expect to charge him with attempting to elude police officers, a misdemeanor.

The boat’s owner noticed the Cabo was missing about 7:15 a.m. Aug. 30, reports say, and it was spotted traveling the ICW near Orange Beach, Ala., at about 10:30 a.m. Authorities say the man pushed the stolen boat to speeds reaching 40 knots during the chase.

“We chased him all the way to FortMorgan,” Lt. Alex Smith, an investigator with the state marine police, says in a report. “Once we boxed him in down there, he turned into St. Andrew’s Bay and tried to get away on foot, but the Coast Guard helicopter spotted him and we got him.”

The man ran the boat aground about two miles from the tip of the FortMorgan peninsula, according to reports. He was captured after police chased him on foot for about 300 yards through a marsh.

If convicted, the man faces anywhere from two to 20 years in prison, news reports say.

— Jason Fell